EvoTec = Evolution Technology
Countless reviews have been written about the EvoTec since its debut in 2009, and they consistently praise its unique design and excellent craftsmanship. What fascinated me about the EvoTec, however, was its inclusion of Carl F. Bucherer’s first in-house movement, the Calibre CFB A1000.
Having encountered the EvoTec at several Swiss fake Rolex replica watches events, I became increasingly intrigued by the technologies that culminated in the A1000. Recently, I reached out to my friends at Carl F. Bucherer North America to see if they would indulge my curiosity.
Keep in mind I’m not a trained watchmaker, just a passionate enthusiast eager to learn and share my findings on TZ. Hopefully, you’ll glean some knowledge, and perhaps share the appreciation I’ve developed for a brand that is still relatively new to western markets.
Because the A1000 is still considered a new calibre, even CFB-authorized centers are not allowed to work on them. Instead, servicing requires an EvoTec be returned to Switzerland so that any issues can be carefully studied as part of ongoing product development. It seems like a noble approach to quality control, which is why I was surprised when the brand shipped a pair of A1000s to their North American Headquarters in Dayton, Ohio for me to disassemble and share my observations on TimeZone.
The EvoTec Difference
At first glance, the difference is obvious. You don’t need a loupe to appreciate the unique design of the A1000, with plates and bridges containing patterns suggesting a modern, almost digital influence. These details cut deep into the bridges to bend light and shadow and change the personality of the movement with each new viewing angle. Absent are chamfered edges and côtes de Genève, instead replaced by recessed areas, brushed and blasted surfaces more befitting the modern character of the A1000.
Contemplation of Oscillations
To ensure an unobstructed view of the calibre, Carl F. Bucherer engineered an ingenious Peripheral Rotor System in which a streamlined, nearly invisible oscillating weight glides along the circumference of the movement. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of the Peripheral Rotor, this system expands the scalability of the movement by creating a blank canvas for the addition of future modules or features.
The concept of the peripheral rotor isn’t new. In fact, early patents were filed by Paul Gostel in 1955 followed by Patek Philippe in 1965. During the 1960’s, Citizen released a “Ring Rotor” that remained in production through the early ’80s, but this system was bulky and as visually intrusive as traditional ocillators. It was Carl F. Bucherer’s implimentation of the peripheral rotor combined with an effective shock absorbtion system that matured the concept into practical reality.
Carl F. Bucherer’s rotor is relatively straitforward. A series of teeth beneath the inner edge of the rotor engage the gears of an automatic winding system that includes dual reversing wheels to provide efficient, bi-directional winding.
To help maximize efficiency, each wheel of the winding system is jeweled, while the gear contacting the rotor is topped with a cap jewel and Incabloc shock protection. This design provides additional insulation between the movement and Peripheral Rotor.
Since the debut of the A1000, variations of the peripheral rotor have been released by such Swiss legends as DeWitt, Audemars Piguet and Cartier.
DSA A Shocking Development
Another feature exclusive to the A1000 is its Dynamic Shock Absorption system (DSA) for the winding rotor. This system is composed of three pivoting assemblies, each containing a DLC-coated post rotating within a set of seven ceramic ball bearings. One of the three assemblies also contains a small cam to allow fine adjustments of the DSA system.
In a traditional, centrally mounted rotor, energy from impact or even daily wear is transferred to the bearing assembly, creating one of the more common points of failure for automatics. Who hasn’t heard the grinding of worn rotor bearings? The A1000, on the other hand, evenly distributes the mass of the oscillating weight across three spring-balanced rocking assemblies that absorb shock. I can’t help but imagine that dispersing energy through the outer regions of the movement would further protect internal components.
Finally, where traditional rotor failure can lead to scraping inside the case, three screws, plates and the DSA components tightly limit the range of the rotor, making it virtually impossible to strike the case. My guess is that if you can manage to destroy this rotor system, chances are you’ve lived a pretty hard life and probably deserve a new replica watches sale.
More on Diamond Like Carbon
Back to the rotating posts, DLC is layered about one micron thick (1μm), or 1/1000th of a millimeter, and is applied at a temperature of 250 °C. Beyond the aesthetics, this coating provides several other benefits. DLC actually strengthens the surface of the posts and prevents abrasive wear in addition to providing a barrier against corrosion. With a Vickers scale hardness of 2000, DLC is several times harder than steel.
Click (is) Here
By incorporating dual crown wheels, CFB cleverly concealed a small ratchet and click beneath the secondary crown wheel, further streamlining the look of the movement. In doing so, they added additional parts to the manufacturing and assembly processes. I point out this minor feature as another example of Carl F. Bucherer’s attention to detail.
Besides the Peripheral Rotor, perhaps the most unique feature of the A1000 is its Central Dual Adjustment System, or “CDAS.” The concept is simple: To protect adjustments from shock or slippage from normal use. Carl F. Bucherer accomplishes this by replacing traditional friction-based regulation with components that lock in the settings. For beat error, (the uneveness of the “tick” and “tock” of the balance swing) and beat rate (which adjusts the effective length of the hairspring to speed up or slow down the balance) two Connecting Bars attach to the Regulator Connector and Stud Connector. Though beat rate and error may be adjusted independently, a single locking screw prevents unwelcome changes to these settings. When the screw is released, however, the balance is easily adjusted.
According to Carl F. Bucherer, once the balance is regulated, the settings are locked and should not require adjustment until the next servicing.
CLR and a LIGA Their Own
Upon close inspection of the balance assembly, CDAS reveals a detail that receives little fanfare. The surface of the CDAS “arms” appear to have an almost iridescent finish. Under a loupe, the finish reveals a micro-cryptic pattern that is part of the A1000’s Covert Laser Recognition feature, or “CLR.” When a frequency-specific green laser is pointed at these parts, the “diffractive nanostructures” along the surface project the familiar CFB name and logo. Who thinks of this stuff? Simply, wow!
Working with Swiss parts manufacturer Mimotec, the two companies developed the CLR-LIGA process to prevent counterfeiters from copying CFB movements. CLR is based on LIGA technology that essentially “grows” metal parts through particle deposition with a level of accuracy beyond the capabilities of most tech savvy criminals. The resulting parts are of exceptional quality and essentially contain a digital fingerprint that is unique to the brand.
Beyond the obvious security benefits of CLR-LIGA, the unique metallic sheen is mesmerizing. It’s a hi-tech twist to traditional finishing of cheap Rolex replica watches components.
Tools of the trade
In order to work on the A1000, a few special tools are required. Fortunately, the mother ship provided a neatly packaged kit containing three drivers and an oddly shaped device that had us stumped at first. One driver is for the CFB logo-headed screw attaching the secondary crown wheel and ratchet to the barrel arbor. Another driver is used to adjust the CDAS, and the third driver is attached to the barrel arbor for a controlled release of mainspring tension. As for the other tool, it turned out to be a clever little device, a sort of parking brake that fits in between the dual crown wheels to prevent the barrel from discharging. I have to note that even this simple tool had nicely rounded edges and was polished to a mirror finish. Though a simple piece of pegwood would adequately suffice, it shows that CFB has not overlooked any details, even during tooling for post sales service.
A Future to Grow on
The A1000 design results in a relatively streamlined movement. This is so future modules or complications can be built upon a proven platform. There are already at least six variations of the A1000 that add features such as a power reserve, big date, day of the week and small seconds in various combinations. I wonder when we might see a perpetual calendar, chronograph or perhaps even their proprietary GMT module that would make the A1000 ripe for the TravelTec line. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Putting it all together (and don’t forget the parking brake!)
Even with my limited experience, the A1000 was surprisingly easy to assemble. With no miscellaneous parts remaining in the tray or on my mat, it was time to revive the movement.
A slight tap and … nothing.
As I grasped the crown and attempted to give it a twist, the movement appeared completely locked up.
My heart skipped a beat (or two, or three). Everything had moved freely just a moment ago.
I took a deep breath and then it hit me. I forgot to release the parking brake; the custom tool designed to lock the crown wheels.
And it did its job perfectly. Once removed, the tiny heart started beating in the A1000 and all was right in my world.
The A1000 demonstrates Carl F. Bucherer’s commitment to quality and the art of watchmaking. Even more importantly, it gives us some insight into the creativity that drives the brand’s innovation. Considering CFB’s other offerings, I would have expected this movement to be reserved for its pricier lines. But having seen, firsthand, the features of the A1000, I walk away excited by only one haunting question: What’s next? If this is Carl F. Bucherer’s first attempt at an in-house movement, I can only imagine what’s waiting in the wings.
It was nothing short of an honor for Carl F. Bucherer to host me for a day and allow me to dig deep inside the A1000 in order to share its story. I ‘d like to say “Thank You!” to Ron and Emily for putting this visit together, and last but not least, Ed, the CFB Master Watchmaker who carefully and patiently guided me through this project. The custom-embroidered lab coat was a nice touch as well! I have such extraordinary respect for the Carl F. Bucherer team. The pride and the passion they have for their products is a testament to the brand and with an achievement such as the A1000, it’s no wonder.